“Potential upset: No. 11 Belmont over No. 6 Arizona. Is Belmont the best basketball program in the country never to have won an NCAA tournament game? This is the sixth NCAA appearance for Belmont since 2006, but its record stands at 0-5.
“Maybe they can end their losing streak in this one, and not just because they have a nickname — Bruins — that has beaten Arizona three times this year, all courtesy of UCLA. Belmont senior guard Ian Clark — 18.1 points a game, 46.3% from beyond the arc — is the kind of three-point marksman that can give Arizona fits.”
- David Leon Moore, USA Today Sports
“Arizona should be sweating. As the No. 6 seed, they get a tough Belmont opponent in the first round. Belmont is one the best shooting teams in the country, with the third best effective field goal percentage – which is like regular field goal percentage but is weighted by three-pointers – according to Statsheet.com.”
- Mike Vorkunov, The Star-Ledger
“Belmont has been a chic upset pick in many of its recent appearances. But it has never been seeded as high as this year, and now I have to believe this is Rick Byrd's moment. His two-guard attack of Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson are going to give fits to Arizona's uneven backcourt. Belmont's not a big team, but it is the best one on defense Byrd's ever had.
“Arizona's just out of sorts. It's talented but hasn't fully come into form this year. Most times, I think trendy upset picks of the 11/6 and 12/5 variety need to be avoided. Not here. Expect a really good game to go Belmont's way.”
- Matt Norland, CBSSports.com
“UPSET SPECIAL: No. 11 Belmont (26-6) against No. 6 Arizona (25-7). The Wildcats are one year away and they have very few quality wins after Jan. 1. Belmont is always a team that is scary as the Bruins are athletic and feature a go-to guy in Ian Clark (18.1 ppg).”
- Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“We feel pretty good about the matchup. I know they’ve got some athletic guys since they play in the Pac-12. I caught some of their games on ESPN and I know they’re really an explosive team and they like to get up and down the floor. We play a lot alike.
“Coach Byrd talks about us getting out and running a lot more this year than we have in the past with Kerron and Reece (Chamberlain) and J.J. (Mann), who all like to get up and down the floor. I think we can matchup in the backcourt.”
- Ian Clark, Belmont guard
“Arizona Wildcats (West, No. 6 seed): The Wildcats could not have drawn a worse second-round matchup. Arizona lets opponents shoot 36.6 percent from beyond the arc (297th in the nation), while the Belmont Bruins shoot the three at a 38.6 percent clip (21st in the nation). Expect the Bruins to exploit that on the offensive end.”
- Andrew Koob, National Desk
“Is this the year the Bruins break through and finally live to their reputation as a perennial upset selection? They have the right matchup for it, as they can force turnovers and knock down 3-pointers – and Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark have the ability to really make life difficult for Mark Lyons and Arizona. Coach Rick Byrd has a deep and experienced roster, and they might win a game.”
- Jeff Borzello, CBSSports.com